A CBS News reporter has spoken out about the threatening text message she received from former 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager, who was fired on Wednesday in the wake of recent accusations of sexual misconduct and fostering an abusive workplace.
“I am that reporter,” CBS journalist Jericka Duncan announced on CBS Evening News Wednesday night, recounting her exchange with Fager.
Duncan said she reached out to Fager on Sunday, after a New Yorker story detailed an allegation against him in which a woman said he groped her at a party. Other former CBS employees have said Fager touched employees in ways that made them uncomfortable at parties.
Fager, who denied the claims, told Duncan to “be careful” in a text message.
“If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up you will be held responsible for harming me,” Fager told Duncan in the text. “Be careful. There are people who lost their jobs trying to harm me and if you pass on these damaging claims without your own reporting to back them up that will become a serious problem.”
CBS News president David Rhodes said Fager’s firing was “not directly related” to the allegations of sexual misconduct but because he violated company policy.
Fager said in a statement that he was fired because of the text message.
“They terminated my contract early because I sent a text message to one of our own CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story,” he said. “My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalist receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it. One such note should not result in termination after 36 years but it did.”
Fager’s ouster comes just three days after CBS Chief Leslie Moonves resigned after being accused by several women of sexual misconduct in a New Yorker article published Sunday.
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